March 9, 2020 7:00 am Mom of the Week – Abby Finnis! Cheerfully Balancing A Marketing Career And Family Life
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
My son, Lachlan, is 4.5 and my daughter, Ainsley, is almost 3. We do a lot together, but it’s usually bedtime that I relish. This is partially because I can slow down and it is easier to be fully present mentally, but it is also because Lachlan especially has reached an age where he invents these simple and yet imaginative games to put-off getting tucked-in and having that final book read. “Mom close your eyes and sing this song while I hide these cards.” I can’t resist… 30 minutes later, we read two, actually usually three books (given his negotiating skills and my soft spot) and then finally he dozes off. His innocent desire to fight the end of the day is something I’ve grown to love. And those moments of calm to rub their backs and cuddle are priceless and as I’ve been told, probably fleeting.
I wish for them to be happy, empowered and confident to go live their best life and make a difference. With all going on in the world, inspiring youth of today (and feeling most equipped to do so with my own) gives me hope they’ll have a healthy, peaceful world to enjoy.
Who has had the biggest influence upon you?
Honestly, I believe my children have had the biggest influence on me, as they have opened my eyes to everything my mother did for me with a new level of appreciation. And, that’s what they have done for me across the board. I spent much of my life so focused on setting and achieving expectations and moving what I believed to be forward. Since having kids, I’ve become very conscious about how much you can take for granted and miss if you don’t slow down, look sideways, take a breadth and just be grateful. And, that actually turns into a more powerful path forward. Today, I seek and find enjoyment or at least appreciation for almost everything I do and try not to take a seemingly “normal,” healthy day with my family for granted. It’s changed how I see my career, how I see my mom and especially how I decide to spend the time I control each day. Between having my father pass away as I graduated from college and watching friends go through hardships trying to have and/or with their children, I just feel so fortunate. It’s a whole new perspective and layer to “why” that I don’t think I would have found without my kids.
What quality do you most admire in a mother?
Steadfast commitment to nurturing and empowering her children through words and behavior. It takes so much attention and patience to live this consistently, but it’s also so amazing to watch a child’s reaction to coaching through situations. I am convinced at least my children learn from and absorb almost everything they come across, and it’s just so powerful to keep equipping them to find their way through different situations as they grow.
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed? And what are your strongest qualities?
I don’t generally think of motherhood and my career in the same sentence, but I have found a way to let each thrive off each other. I’ve stuck with my career in strategy, insights and analytics as part of the Pepsi NA Marketing team through having both of my children. Actually, I’ve been in the industry for nearly 20 years. Gosh, I’m getting old! I’m very aware of the energy I get from having a career, and for me personally, I think it makes me a better mother. At first, I felt a bit guilty about it, but I’m over that!
Were you happiest in elementary, middle high school or college? Please explain why.
It’s hard to top how simple and happy my elementary years were made by my parents, and at the time I had NO IDEA how much work that was. However, now trying to orchestrate those blissful summer days at the beach, skiing almost every weekend in the winter, learning how to groom a pony and get to ride it after school… Wow, was I lucky and I want all of that for my kids.
What do you like to do for fun and what is your idea of a perfect day?
I’m having fun reinventing each year what “fun” for me is. Not much has held constant through having kids in this bucket, and that’s ok. Each year I try to take back a hobby I had going for myself. I LOVE everything about golf from the etiquette to the technique to the 5 hours commitment (yes, should be closer to 4 hours) to being outside and largely quiet. This is top of my radar for Summer ’20, and a preview of what will probably qualify me as boring given my answer to how I party.
A perfect day for me would be a mix of being outside (skiing / pool – either great!), good food and ending with snuggly family time by a fire.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
My husband jokes regularly about what I watch or read when on my own. I suppose I am one of the few who feels there’s so much to learn from nature, science and history, I have a hard time resisting documentaries now so readily available with streaming.
That said, we recently enjoyed Succession,are currently back into Homeland, and are excited for the return of The Ozarksand can’t resist British detective shows.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
My mother lives with me, which is such a blessing on many fronts, but especially when it comes to cooking. She’s taken the reins to ensure we always have a healthy, home-cooked meal available. This is a great example of something I don’t take for granted even for a second. It’s such a gift, as I believe there’s much to be said about basic nutrition and a child’s demeanor, health and development.
When it comes to just me, I always say a life without cheese is not worth living! Dinner is sometimes a glass of wine and a good cheese. (Kids get the good stuff.)
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I must go on a safari at some point (probably when the kids are older). We love Paris, but when my husband and I can steal a decent chunk of time, we’re mostly still checking off old haunts of my parents in England. We just love all the small towns to discover and because my father was British, my parents spent much time across the country and I want to experience the same places.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what is your drink of choice?
My version of “partying” is probably closer to what many would call relaxing. I’m happiest with close friends at their home or mine, usually outside either with a margarita, martini or IPA in hand. Casual attire, perhaps no make-up. That’s my version of partying and I love it.